When interacting with a charismatic person, sometimes it can feel as if there is an aura around them, a certain something that is making their words and actions captivating in a manner that may not be clearly definable. However, these traits are definable if the rules of positive body language and psychological phrasing are understood. The reason for this is in the detail – the exact same speech delivered by two separate people can invoke very different tones and feelings due to hundreds of small things, from inflections to hand gestures.
These rules are not just for speeches, the ability to appear confident can work in a persuasive manner also, which is very helpful for those that deal frequently in negotiation scenarios. This article with detail some of the most important things that can be said and done to achieve maximum results through convincing arguments and strong body language.
The Eyes Have It
As children, many were told by the mothers that they must hold eye contact with people to avoid appearing rude. While this is something that comes naturally to some and difficult to others, it is something that everybody can practice. Maintaining eye contact not only strengthens the words that are being spoken, but it can work as an intimidator. If one party in a discussion is able to hold eye contact and the other party cannot, the person unable to maintain eye contact will feel insecure and more willing to submit and concede to their opponent’s point of view.
Being convincing is not always a case of pressing a personal issue, and it is certainly not strictly a battle of logic. Simply being able to prove something with facts may not be enough to convince somebody that its right, as the parameters of what constitutes a fact can alter based on personal agenda. With this in mind, one should remember that being convincing is about making compromises – perhaps even if they are untrue.
For example, if the matter at hand is regarding the best gaming console, instead of stating “this X console is superior because it contains a modern graphics card” one may consider saying “Y console has many strengths, however I do believe that X console has the best graphics card”. This gives the impression of conceding and not being offensive, but while also staying true to the core point being made. A person is more willing to come around to a different point of view if they feel their point of view is being treated with respect.
Anybody trying to be convincing should walk the line of being repetitive but also creative. The reason for this is that it is important for the core point to be repeated and to be clear, as diverting from the essential argument can result in an ineffective strategy when convincing somebody. However, simply repeating the same point using the same wording is not going to persuade anybody. The key to finding a good compromise is using imaginative wording and employing different tones to convey the same message.
Watch your Tone
An aggressive tone can be detrimental to a person’s argument as it projects a certain negativity and unwillingness to compromise. It may seem simple, but by simply keeping a light, friendly tone, one can keep somebody in good spirits and more likely to come around to an idea. While this idea is simple in principle, it does take a lot of willpower to refrain from showing intense emotion for the overall good of an argument. Sometimes showing emotion is a good idea, but it should be noted that this is not a gut decision, and something that should be planned in the scheme of a convincing argument.
Perhaps most important of all is the ability to litter sentences with strong, firm words. This is something that takes some practice, but when attempting to convince another person, one should always use the strongest possible phrasing. For example, instead of saying “the war will likely end by 2014” it may appear more confident to say “the horrendous war that we all endure will bring around freedom to all by the year 2014” – these two statements essentially say the same thing, but the latter statement says it with passion. Using passionate language re-enforces the most important thing: that there is a strong belief behind the words being spoken.
Persuasiveness is Confidence
Being persuasive is an art, and certainly something that is an intuitive trait to many people – however it certainly can also be learned and practiced. There are many situations in which one may benefit from understanding how to appear persuasive in an argument, but it should be noted that there are moral obligations to consider.
During simple, friendly debates, or business negotiations, these techniques are fine, but the manipulation of another’s point of view should be approached with caution if the end result is to take unfair advantage. However, when used responsibly, these things will work wonders for a person’s self-confidence and ability to get ahead in the world. If you are interested in learning more, try a short course to boost your confidence. Growing confident with your debating skills will result in you being able to turn more of those ‘no’s into resounding ‘yes’s.
- License: Creative Commons image source
Guest Post contributed by The Gap Partnership – Negotiations Experts